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Photo of Barry Lynn
Barry smiles at the camera. Barry is standing in front of a red door. He is wearing black glasses and a checkered shirt. He has gray hair.

Barry Lynn


Barry Lynn is both an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and a member of the Supreme Court bar. He has been opposed to censorship since he was in high school but was able to put that belief into practice at both the ACLU’s national office and for 25 years as executive director of Americans United For Separation of Church and State. At the ACLU he shadowed the Reagan-era Pornography Commission. The Washington Post in assessing the Commission noted that one of the worst things about being a member was having to deal with his “withering ridicule” which led Commission member James Dobson to tell him he “destroyed all the good work we attempted to accomplish”. At Americans United he continued to combat the anti-LGBTQ and anti-women views of Religious Right Christian nationalists like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Lou Sheldon and rightwing pro-censorship “celebrities” like Tucker Carlson and Bill O’Reilly. As he recently told a fundraising event for the Kurt Vonnegut Library and Museum: “censorship breeds ignorance”. He fears where the US Supreme Court may go in eliminating the current difficult to prove definition of “obscenity” and the fear generated by politicians who want to suppress material for adults under the guise of “protecting the children”.

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